August Academy Admissions Consulting Reviews

August Academy is a venture founded by an alumnus of IIT Madras and Stanford University in 2013. Over the past five years, we’ve helped students belonging to the most competitive MBA applicant pool (Indian Engineers) get into several top 20 schools from across the world. We’ve worked with people in every time zone from Australia to California - we are extremely responsive. Several of our students have received offers from top 20 schools in the US (including Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Columbia, Yale, Duke, NYU Stern, UVa Darden, Ross, Cornell, Anderson, UNC Kenan-Flagler, McCombs, Tepper, Olin and Goizueta), top 10 schools in Europe (including London Business School, HEC Paris, IE, ESADE and Oxford), and top ranked schools in other regions (Rotman, Ivey, Schulich, the National University of Singapore and the Indian School of Business). Overall, our students have won over $3,100,000 in scholarships so far.

August Academy is a member of AIGAC - the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants. This is a reflection of our commitment to the highest levels of integrity and service to candidates.
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August Academy Admissions Consulting Reviews

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Karthik Palaniappan
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May 10, 2016

Joined: Dec 27, 2015

Posts: 4

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
710 Q49 V38

Cracked R3 with scholarships


I worked with Karthik for 7 of my R3 applications and converted 5 schools with scholarships, including Olin.

I gave my GMAT in January and then was faced with a challenge of completing the applications within a short span of time since R3 deadlines for international candidates were approaching.

I approached two consultants before Karthik. One of them clearly told me that completing the applications on such a short notice is not possible. The other consultant showed me a rosy picture and assured me that by working with him I'll be able to get into the top 20 schools in R3. I chose to work with him since he reassured me of good results with a guarantee. He started the application writing process without knowing anything about me. He wrote the first draft of essay himself, which was very philosophical and didn't go with my profile at all. I was disappointed.

After going through the GMAT club reviews of August academy, I spoke to Karthik. The best thing that I liked about Karthik is that he is so straightforward and honest with you. He told me that R3 will be very difficult to crack and he can't promise top 20 schools but we will certainly try and not give up.

He took his time to know about me and wanted me to make my story unique. He really worked hard on me and pushed me to write quality essays on my own. He gave me the liberty of writing the first draft the way I wanted to and then we would polish it more through iterations.

Throughout my application journey, Karthik's suggestions were instrumental. He gave the right suggestions at the right time. He was also very quick in responding to my queries and also worked on weekends with me when the deadlines were very near. He is very professional and never edited the language of my essays. This indeed helped me as my essays sounded more natural. He is the most organized and systematic person to work with, which makes the application process so much simple. We were able to complete the applications of 7 schools in 25 days.

I sincerely thank Karthik for his guidance in making my dream come true.

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May 07, 2016

Joined: Apr 21, 2015

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
620 Q47 V28

My experience with August Academy


When I started looking for a consultant I was very skeptical if he/she could help me with my unusual profile. After a suggestion from a friend and meeting Karthik I decided to give a go. Karthik gave me a very frank assessment of my profile, outlining my strength and weakness, constantly pushed me to make sure I am putting my best foot forward.

I want to thank you very much for your professionalism and dedication throughout the process, which was a stressful period for me. You have been very prompt and professional with your response, helped me strategize my approach for the application. Needless to say, your insights were very valuable and helpful. Thank you!


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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
May 05, 2016

Joined: Jun 16, 2015

Posts: 174

Kudos: 47

Self-reported Score:
730 Q49 V40

Top 15 admit


When I first contacted Karthik, I had not yet given my GMAT. He evaluated my profile, helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses and motivated me to do well on the GMAT. He even suggested how to prepare for the GMAT.

When I was playing safe with the selection of universities, Karthik encouraged me to apply for the bigger ones. I applied to 10 universities – 5 in R1 and 5 in R2. After I received admits from 4 universities in R1, I was happy about it and content. He asked me to apply to bigger universities

I got interview invites from 8 universities and admits from 5.

I will be joining a Top 15 ranked university this Fall. Thanks to Karthik for motivating me to aim higher.

Before I started writing essays, he told me how to contact current students and alumni of the schools I was applying to and get vital information which will help me in my essays. After I had an idea of what to write in my essay, Karthik would help me structure my thoughts in a coherent way. And I was free to schedule an appointment to discuss about my essays until it was perfect. He did not limit me to the number of calls or hours as some consultants do.

I found the discussions with Karthik to be more productive when I did some research on the school and made a rough structure for the essays.

After attending 8 interviews, I can safely say I have become a pro at MBA Admission interviews. Karthik corrected my delivery style and taught me how to make proper eye contact with the interviewer.

Karthik does more than what is expected of him. He motivates you to aim higher when you are content with the status quo. I would strongly recommend Karthik – August Academy to future MBA aspirants.

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May 02, 2016

Joined: Jul 12, 2015

Posts: 2

Kudos: 5

Self-reported Score:
740 Q50 V40

Ivy League Admit

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

I have had a wonderful association with August Academy which eventually led to an Ivy League admit. (Yay!! ☺ ). The journey was as exciting as the result with many twists that came along the way. It was a real roller coaster ride with countless late night phone-calls, a few interview invites and some disappointments along the way.

I was very impressed right from the first call we had when I was evaluating various admissions consultants. When I first spoke to Karthik. I had finally met an admissions mentor who did not focus on the no. of hours per discussion per candidate. I could feel a genuine interest on his side to get to know my story and to help me figure out what worked best for me.

Though I had researched a fair bit, Karthik’s inputs on various B-school cultures, their strengths and weaknesses etc were helpful in narrowing down the list of schools that I should target. The first few discussions helped me discover my true motivations and realize my strengths and weaknesses. Karthik was extremely supportive, friendly and (I can’t stress this enough) patient through the entire process. Being the perfectionist that he is we worked on my story and each of the SoPs many times over.

When things wouldn’t go according to plan, Karthik knew the right things to say to get you back on track. The myriad stories he shares about others he has helped are quite motivating as one can very easily relate to them.

I believe that August Academy had a huge role to play in helping me achieve my goal and hope that they continue helping others the same way. All the best!!

SC Johnson Graduate School of Management
Cornell University

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May 01, 2016

Joined: Apr 08, 2013

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

My Experience with August Academy


I came to know about Karthik from the gmatclub. Before rounding up on him I spoke to a couple of consultants. After my interactions with all of them, I felt Karthik took personal interest in the candidates and was willing to spend more time to present about them in the best way possible.

I am glad I selected him to help me with the applications. We had multiple rounds of discussions to pick the experiences that would make good stories for my essays. He sat with me to refine the essays and to prepare my resume. I really liked that he was detailed oriented and went an extra mile to make sure that the application was perfect. He was always frank and did not hesitate to correct me when he thought my essays were not up to the mark. He also helped me to understand what can be added or changed to make them better. Without his help I never would have been able to write essays the way I did.

He was always available when we wanted to speak with him. His guidance for the interview process helped me in preparing for it. In short, I had a very good experience working with him.

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March 23, 2016

Joined: Jul 31, 2015

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
740 Q50 V40

Personalised, genuine, thorough!


When I decided to take the plunge and apply to business schools, I was extremely nervous about the task that lay before me. As someone with limited corporate exposure (I’m an emergency doctor) I had no idea where to begin including which schools to select. I had already spoken to several MBA consultants but was unconvinced. August Academy( however, was a different story. When I spoke to Karthik, I sensed sincerity and a genuine interest in wanting to help me meet my objectives. Even before our conversation ended, I had decided to enlist his expertise.

I found Karthik to be very systematic and organised. He broke down the application process into smaller tasks making it a lot more doable. Additionally, he spent ample time towards helping me clarify my goals, which was of immense help moving forwards. Based on my interests and strengths, we narrowed down a list of schools I ought to apply to, and chalked out a rough timetable for the next few weeks. Apart from constructing a plan, Karthik inspired self-belief and guided me through each step, and thus made this daunting process seem almost easy!

Karthik was adept at assisting me craft professional essays that were unique and insightful. He mentored me in the art of essay writing, while simultaneously ensuring that the essay compositions be narrated in my own voice. Unlike other services, there was never any limitation on the number of discussions one could have. Moreover, Karthik was extremely prompt when it came to giving feedback regarding any drafts I’d sent. Even when floods in Chennai were making national headlines, Karthik somehow found a way to go online and critique my essays!

Apart from the written submissions, Karthik coached me on how to handle various interviews. Thanks to his inputs I aced every interview I encountered!

One of the issues applicants underestimate is the amount of emotional turbulence associated with the application process. The application process is time consuming and energy draining, as well as frustrating when a decision doesn’t go one’s way. In this regard, I was very grateful for Karthik’s support. Whenever I faced a setback, Karthik took out time from his schedule to call me and encourage me. Thanks to his efforts I was better able to cope with disappointments and kept moving forwards till I finally reached my goal!

I attribute my success to Karthik’s guidance and wholeheartedly recommend the services at August Academy.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
March 21, 2016

Joined: Aug 19, 2013

Posts: 17

Kudos: 20

Self-reported Score:
770 Q51 V42

After my GMAT, I was struggling to make a list of colleges I could apply for and was looking at the application essays for various colleges. I understood that it is very essential to be able to put forth my story effectively in the limited number of words. I wanted someone who has been through the process to work with me on my essays and help me make my essays effective.

I came across August Academy ( on GMAT club. I set up a call with Karthik for an initial discussion. From the first call I was greatly impressed with the honesty and clarity that Karthik had. We had multiple discussions to shortlist colleges. Throughout the discussions he was open about his opinions and played a very important role in setting up my expectations appropriately. This way I knew I was taking a risk by applying to certain colleges and wasn’t bogged down by rejects.

Then comes the best part of the process where Karthik made me answer a large set of questions. This helped him understand who I was personally and professionally. This also gave me a lot of clarity and contributed greatly to the effectiveness of the essays. The fact that I wrote my essays gave me great confidence for the interviews as well. Thanks to Karthik I was not only able to apply to try for colleges that were a stretch for me but also got admitted to ISB HYD after a rejection last year.

What I greatly appreciate Karthik for is that he is a great listener, has a structured process and is always reachable. I started my applications only a couple of weeks before the college deadlines and had multiple calls with Karthik at 1AM in the night. He was also great at defining the priorities for every phase of the admission cycle which helped me attack the important aspects first.

I think if you are looking for someone who would work with you for your applications rather than getting your essays written like a few of the other consultancies do August Academy is a great choice.

Average time for one application-
I was short on time and with help and push from Karthik I was able to satisfactorily finish applications for two colleges in 10 days. So Karthik will greatly help you achieve your goals as long as you are willing to work hard towards it.

Although I thought that price was high initially I now feel I got the value for my money. I not only got an admit in the college I wanted but also added structure to my thought and writing.

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March 08, 2016

Joined: May 18, 2015

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Admission to Ross

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

When I decided to apply for an MBA, I had some idea about my story but it wasn’t waterproof and that’s where Karthik made the biggest difference in my application. Discussions with Karthik (August Academy - were most productive if I did some homework about the colleges I was looking at. I initially found it frustrating that he wouldn’t give me a ready made storyline that would suit my background and future plans (as this was a common practice I noticed with the consultants my friends and colleagues were using) but in the long run I am really grateful that Karthik guided me to create my own story. He also suggested reading material to help me chalk out my ideas to get a better understanding of different post MBA professions. All of this meant that I didn’t have a common template which I tweaked a little bit to make it more personal but I had an original thought process from the word go and I was able to substantiate each part of my story and future plans. When both of us could not agree on something, Karthik was open to the idea of discussing and flushing out every detail (at times even having 2 calls a day or phone calls till 1 am in the night).

He also conducted a pseudo interview to ensure that all the pieces of my puzzle fit together and this was done even before I wrote my first college essay. This activity alone ensured that I had a solid framework for most common questions of my long-term and short-term goals and why I chose them?

Some essays go a little beyond asking about your professional plans where the admission office wants to get to know an applicant on a more personal level. It’s hard to figure out where to draw the line when you talk about personal stories. At such times, I had numerous discussions with Karthik where we vetted each story to check for its viability.

One very important aspect of this process was the fact that we always looked at the essays while talking on the phone. It was crucial as I figured out the loopholes by myself most of times while combing through each and every sentence. I found this approach to be more effective than exchanging several emails with drafts of the same essay.

Apart from researching on the colleges, he also pushed me to reach out in my network and talk to current students and alumni. I can’t stress enough about how important this aspect is; it adds a whole another level to your understanding which easily gets reflected in your application.

I eventually managed to get interview calls from 3 of the top 11 ranked colleges (according to US news & World report) and got an admission offer from one. Everyone has their own stories but where most of us need help is in presenting it in the best way possible with the given constraints and Karthik does a brilliant job in helping applicants with that.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
November 27, 2015

Joined: Nov 27, 2015

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

My Experience with August Academy

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Karthik ( for his help throughout the entire application process. Initially, I really did not have much of an idea on how to go about it. But during our first meeting, Karthik immediately put me at ease by explaining the entire process in detail and helped me chalk out a plan.

Karthik, being a great motivator, pushed me in the right direction and ensured that my resume and SOP stood out. The biggest advantage is that the sessions are strictly one-on-one and totally personalized, unlike other mainstream consultants.

In addition, to prep for interviews, he spent a lot of time conducting mock interviews and gave me a lot of tips based on his hands on experience which proved to be extremely insightful.

I would strongly recommend The August Academy and would once again like to express my utmost gratitude to Karthik for his unconditional support that resulted in me securing admission at Duke University to pursue my master’s degree in Engineering Management.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
November 07, 2015

Joined: Nov 07, 2015

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
680 Q50 V32

Converting the 2+1 program of the Indian School of Business (YLP)


I had consulted with August Academy ( on the recommendation of a friend for my application to the Young Leader’s Program of the Indian School of Business. Even though I took his help just for the interview round, I genuinely believe that Karthik tremendously influenced my way of thinking.

“Real learning does not happen because of an expensive textbook or a learned teacher. Real learning takes place because of a motivating presence.” I distinctly remember Karthik dropping this bomb of wisdom in the middle of one of our many conversations. He is up to date with his knowledge, has ample and varied experience, an exceptional personal profile, and a solid track record. However, what distinguishes Karthik from other consultants is the way he motivates you.

His genuineness, clarity of thought and professionalism enabled me to prepare my case in the best possible way. Those are certain qualities I really admire and wish to emulate in my day to day life as well. Also, I loved how he treated me as an adult. There was no compulsion to call him Sir. There was no spoon feeding. Best of all, there was no fixed schedule! I had the freedom to schedule my chat session with him for how ever long I wanted it to be and for what ever day I liked.

I strongly recommend August Academy to every person who is working on their applications to college. If I had to do it again, there would be no deliberation. I’d choose August Academy in a heartbeat.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.